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Traumatic Defeat


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About the Author

Patrick Gallagher is a military historian whose work has appeared in journals including Vermont History and the UVM History Review.


"This bold and exciting book gives us an entirely new view of the myth that Vietnam retained large numbers of American POWs after the war. By comparing this myth with a similar myth in Germany after World War II, Gallagher provides important insights into the significance of these postwar myths, which claim that many missing soldiers are still being held by an enemy nation in secret prison camps."--H. Bruce Franklin, author of Vietnam and Other American Fantasies

"This intriguing study examines the development of the public myth that thousands of German war prisoners were held by the Russian government in secret camps during World War II, a myth promoted by war fever, anticommunist ideology, and Germany's need to picture its missing prisoners as victims rather than war criminals. The Soviet-German model is compared with the more contemporary public myth of unreturned American POWs following America's lengthy involvement in the Vietnam War, providing an important contribution to our understanding of postwar trauma and public grief."--Arnold Krammer, author of Nazi Prisoners of War in America

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